Shane Doyle: What does it sound like?
José: Yeah speak in- Like (Alright) speak as if (You know) you had been spending a couple of weeks in Ireland.
Shane: I’ll like be the-, how’s it going? How youShane drops the verb “are” (0:21) getting on? How’s things?
José: But I understand that…
Shane: Where were you last weekend? But you see- But the thing is like, I wouldn’t speak like that here. I would like- I would like say. How you doing? (Uh huh) How are you getting on? You know.
José: It doesn’t (slow it down) seem different to me.
Shane: Right. But you know to me like it is that you know, (Really really?) yeah yeah.
José: OK OK. (You know. Uh) Do you ever do you ever- because we teach at a Japanese university- (Mm) universities. (Mm) Do you ever get from your students a a frank uh comment that’s saying, “Mr. Doyle I really like you, you’re a good teacher but sometimes you’re hard to listen to”? Do you ever get that from your students?
Shane: No. (Never) No. (OK) Uh (Do you) the longer you’re here you know, the longer you’re here the softer your accent gets like, you know and the more neutral it becomes then. (This is true) and I think that happens to all teachers here in Japan. (This is true) You know unless you make a very very conscious effort not to neutralize your accent.
José: And I think sometimes that’s actually a fair thing do. Especially If a student tells you, “Oh I want to do a homestay in Canada. (Mm) Oh I want topronounced “WANNA”(1:15) do a homestay in America.” You actually turn it on. (Hm) You know, especially if you find out, “Oh I want to do a homestay in Vancouver,” Oh well let mepronounced “LEMMI”(1:24) talk like a Vancouverite for you.
Shane: Yes yes. (Mm. Right?) Well that’s helpful for them, isn’t it?
José: Well, I think (You know, mm) eventually they just have to face up to it. English is used in different parts of the world (That’s right) Uh some of my students even today are surprised when I tell them, “Well English is essentially a a first language in India. It’s it’s Indian English, or Sri Lankan English, (Mm) Pakistani English is a relevant form of English. Singaporean English is English. Don’t just say, “Oh that’s just English from Singapore”.
Shane: Well you know it’s just global English, isn’t it? I mean (Mm) you know nowadays- There was a huge debate here maybe ten years ago, wasn’t there? About whetherIrish accents often change the “th” sound to “d” (1:58) we should be using global English orNote Shane Doyle’s pronunciation of “or” and how it sounds more like the North American “are”. (2:05) just focusing on (Ah that one) the “true” English, isn’t it? (Oh yeah yeah) The British English or American English or such like- because they were the accepted forms of English within Japan (Which-) However, times have changed (Yeah) you know and and it’s been a good change I think. You know in terms of recognizing that English is spoken in many different countries and in many different ways.
José: I uh completely agree. When that you know quotation marksthis usually means that the following term is used in a way with which the speaker does not agree (2:23) “debate” popped up, why is this even being discussed? Because this is- I thought it was stupid. (Mm) I thought it was just another way to create an excuse for I’m sorry but you know the the powers that be at the Education and Science Ministry to try and dumb down English. Just like uh when they decided that they don’t need to teach longhand in schools anymore. (Hmm) That was a totally pig-headed decision. (Mm) It was moronic and now Japanese people don’t know how to sign their names properly. (Ha ha) Well if you look at how if you ask a young Japanese person, “Please sign your name” (Right) All they can do is write it in print. (Yeah) Which looks goofy as a signature. In my opinion.
In your own language do you speak with a regional accent? What’s it like?
Which country speaks the form of English you like best? Why?
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José Domingo Cruz
Vancouver, British Columbia
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